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VIP Insider Post #109: Thoughts on Tkachuk, Football, Assistant Openings

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Exclusively for our VIP supporters, TMR editor Mike McMahon brings you these “insider” posts, where he’ll discuss the news and give some insight and perspective on the stories we’re covering here at The Mack Report as well other insider info from stories around the country …

— Chalk me up as genuinely surprised at the news of Brady Tkachuk turning pro. Granted it was several months ago at this point, but all indications from people I spoke to said that they believed Tkachuk would return to BU for his sophomore season. That was prior to the NHL Draft, however. My guess is that the Senators may have applied some pressure to get their top prospect signed to a deal. There are certain organizations who don’t value college hockey as much as others. Personally, I think the NCAA environment is just what Tkachuk needed … he’s a power forward, and the college schedule allows him to spend the necessary time in the weight room to add that power.

That being said, I certainly don’t begrudge him for signing. If he were my son, and he had a chance to sign an NHL deal and live out his dream, I’d certainly tell him to go chase it. If he saves his money and is smart about his finances, there will be plenty of time to finish his degree.

— Merrimack football will be interesting this year. The Coaches Poll has the Warriors sixth, so they aren’t expected to make a lot of noise, but the Warriors bring in one of their best recruiting classes in program history. There is a lot of hype surrounding this class. My guess is that they could struggle a little bit early, because younger teams tend to struggle, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go on a run into the second half of the year.

The biggest question will be whether or not they can finally lock down a consistent starting quarterback. That’s been the missing piece for the program since Joe Clancy graduated five years ago.

— Michael Findorff abruptly left the Bentley coaching staff last week, which leaves Ryan Soderquist with an opening he’s looking to fill late into the summer. There were some rumblings that Findorff is taking a job outside of hockey, but there was also some scuttle that he might have eyes on the open video/hockey ops role at Merrimack. Bentley’s top assistant, Ben Murphy, was a finalist for the job at UMass Lowell that went to Juliano Pagliero (Colgate).

Colgate will replace Pagliero with Dana Borges, who was a volunteer assistant with the program. Borges took an assistant’s job with Alaska-Anchorage earlier this summer, though, so now the Seawolves have an opening to fill.

About Mike McMahon

Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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